Aminisha Ferdinand, Arts Integration Instructional Coach
Bonnie Gabel, Arts Coach
Cheryl Manley, Program & Communications Coordinator
Echo Olander, Executive Director
Elise Gallinot Goldman, Program Director
Heather Muntzer, Arts Coach
Jason Lacoste, Development Director
Sara Beale, Office Administrator
Adonis White–Price, Accounting Specialist, is a New Orleans native with years of experience working with companies in the development and establishment of their financial operations. After working in corporate business, she began working in the nonprofit sector as the Business Operations Manager for Birthing Project USA. Her experience in business development has led her to becoming an entrepreneur as the owner of Cre8NOLA Consulting which focuses on technical assistance, structuring and facilitating new businesses. She also works closely with Holy Trinity Outreach Ministry serving as the Director of the “I AM” Women’s Ministry which focuses on the empowerment of women through spiritual enhancement. Adonis is currently working to earn her Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and perusing a degree in Theological Studies.
Aminisha Ferdinand, Arts Integration Instructional Coach, performed in theater and film for ten years before entering the field of arts education. Following her work with KID smART as an artist-in-residence, she joined the team as an Arts Coach in 2009, most recently leading the Model Schools and Teacher | Leader Projects. She coaches teachers on integrating arts into their classrooms to fully engage children in learning, leads professional development workshops for educators and teaches a multi-disciplinary arts integrated residency at McDonogh City Park Academy. Previously, she taught drama in schools and community-based programs in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans, and Gulu, Uganda and studied briefly at the Center for the Theater of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro. Aminisha studied dance in New Orleans and Miami, and received her BFA in Theater Performance from the University of Miami. She has an MA in Educational Theatre from NYU.
Bonnie Gabel, Arts Coach, is a director, theater maker, and arts educator. She teaches acting, creative movement, acrobatics, digital storytelling, radio drama, puppet making, and costume design and construction to children and adults of all ages. Bonnie leads arts integration workshops for teachers on using theater techniques to reach different learning styles in the classroom. In New Orleans, Bonnie has worked many arts organizations including ArtSpot Productions, Junebug Productions, Goat in the Road, The NOLA Project, Southern Rep, and Cripple Creek Theater Company. Her original work is at the intersection of dance, theater, and visual arts and has been presented in galleries and at regional festivals. Recent projects have been supported by residencies at the Contemporary Art Center and Dancing Grounds. She is a company member of Lux et Umbra, the resident company in The Old Marquer Theater and has toured nationally and internationally with The Conciliation Project. She holds a BFA in performance and a BA in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University, and studied acting at the Moscow Art Theater in Russia, the DAH theater in Belgrade, Serbia, and in South Africa.
Cheryl Manley, Program & Communications Coordinator, manages KID smART's marketing and social media outreach while providing support to the programming team. Cheryl has worked as a marketing and digital media consultant for several local organizations including the New Orleans Swing Dance Festival, Elephant Quilt Productions, and Vintage 329. She earned bachelor's degrees in Communication Studies and Video Production from Loyola University Chicago.
Echo Olander, Executive Director, has directed the vision and mission of KID smART and manages the day-to-day work of the agency since its inception. Echo served as thought partner and the lead staff for a city-wide planning process for arts education, Any Given Child, which will be launching programming in 2015-16. Previous employers include the New York State Council on the Arts, the Arts Council of New Orleans, and contractually for Mississippi Arts Commission/Whole Schools Program, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. She was named to the Louisiana team for the NEA Education Leadership Institute, has coordinated the review of Louisiana Curriculum guides for the Louisiana Department of Education and the Louisiana Division of the Arts and coordinated Imagination, Creativity and Innovation, a statewide program on arts integration in Louisiana for four years. She has served as a panelist for the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Mississippi Arts Commission and Arts Council of New Orleans has presented workshops in a number of locations nationally. Echo has a BA in English from Newcomb College/Tulane University.
Elise Gallinot Goldman, Program Director, coordinated development of The KID smART Model, a comprehensive multi-faceted arts integration program designed around direct instruction in classrooms and professional development for classroom teachers and teaching artists. She is on faculty at Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero Classroom and Arts and Passion Driven Learning institutes and has researched and trained in best practices through national models. Elise received her certification training in Montessori education and taught for four years before focusing on arts administration. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Georgia in Athens and her Masters Degree in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans.
Heather Muntzer, Arts Coach, facilitates arts integration workshops for teachers, coaches teaching artists, oversees educational documentation and visibility/design. Heather has been a resident teaching artist with KID smART for the past 6 years. She is practicing visual artist with a background in traditional fine art, social practice, community art and design. She is co-founder and Board Member of New Orleans’ based youth creative writing non-profit, Big Class. She holds a BFA from California College of the Arts, with a minor in Art Education. Heather received her certification in Secondary Teaching in the Arts from Mills College’s Graduate Program in Education and is entering her eleventh year working in public schools.
Jason Lacoste, Development Director, was born and raised in New Orleans. He has years of experience working with children and studying alternative pedagogies. After graduating from Tulane University with a Psychology degree and a teaching Practitioner’s License, he taught for two years in an Elementary Montessori classroom, igniting his passion for student-centered education. After traveling in Taiwan and a bit of soul-searching, he decided to get involved with local education nonprofits at the administrative level, and so committed to two years in the Americorps VISTA program, designed to train young professionals to better serve the community through capacity building. During the program, he managed fundraising at HandsOn New Orleans. Jason worked as Director of Development at Andrew H. Wilson Charter School, where he focused on fundraising and community partnerships.
Sara Beale, Office Administrator, has been working in the nonprofit sector for three years and has previous education and development experience with organizations such as the New Orleans Museum of Art, The Orlando Museum of Art, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. She holds a BA in Art History from Florida State University and plans to graduate in December 2015 with an MA in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans.